Bill de Blasio’s top aides helped his longtime donor, the now-indicted restaurateur Harendra Singh, in Singh’s rent fight with the city because he “had valid concerns that never got resolved,” not because he was a top mayoral fundraiser.
Speaking Wednesday at an unrelated news conference, de Blasio said the aides got involved in the long-running dispute — the city had determined that Singh owed more than $1 million in rent and other fees, according to a report — “before we knew of any of his other problems and any of the things he had done wrong.”
“All we knew was, here is a business person in Queens with a big establishment that employed a lot of people and had valid concerns that never got resolved,” de Blasio said.
At issue was the restaurant Water’s Edge in Long Island City, Queens, which Singh operated but was on city-owned land. An audit had found that he’d been underpaying rent. Some of de Blasio’s most senior aides — including his political fixer, top lawyer, first deputy’s chief of staff…
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